Millennial editor Robert Christian is one of the recipients of Catholic Relief Services’ 2016 Egan Journalism Fellowship. The four fellows will travel to Honduras and Guatemala for ten days to examine and cover the root causes of migration.
The journalists represent Catholic and secular media and, for the first time, a Spanish-language journalist. They are:
-Mariana Veraza, video journalist, Univision
-Robert Christian, editor, Millennial
-Ashley McKinless, associate editor, America Media
-Judith Sudilovsky, freelance correspondent, Catholic News Service and Our Sunday Visitor
The fellows will travel for 10 days to Honduras and Guatemala to explore the factors that compel people to migrate to safe places, seeing CRS programs that deal with mounting violence and gang activity that cause parents to send their children on the perilous journey to the United States. CRS’ work with at-risk young people reduces child labor and helps children stay in school. Other programs are aimed at young people in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Central America to build life skills, leadership, entrepreneurship and vocational skills to transform their lives and their communities.
“For far too long, children and youth have borne the brunt of these crises – the world needs to hear their plight,” said Kim Pozniak, CRS’ Communications Director. “For the first time this year, we also accepted applications from journalists working in non-Catholic media in order to broaden coverage of the often underreported work of the Church in response to these crises.”
Fellows will also see the effect climate change has on immigration as rising sea levels, erratic rainfall, and changing growing patterns force people from farms. CRS works with farmers to build resilience with improved agricultural techniques that include better seed and crop selection as well as improved conservation and irrigation practices.
This year’s application pool was an impressive group of highly-qualified candidates of secular and Catholic journalists in English- and Spanish-language media. The diverse and experienced investigative journalists, video journalists and broadcasters who applied had high-stake interests in covering these issues.
The fellows were selected based on the quality of their coverage and their demonstrated motivation to report on the issues that affect the poor and marginalized around the world.
For more than 20 years, the Egan Journalism Fellowship program has aimed to foster increased international reporting in Catholic – and now secular – media that will educate people in the United States about their role in living a life of solidarity with others. The fellowship is named after Eileen Egan, CRS’ first professional staff layperson, who devoted four decades of her life to assisting refugees and helping the poor in Europe, Asia and Latin America.